back to article Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: A (free) Mactastic experience

Ubuntu 10.04, officially available as of Thursday, is an important update for this popular Linux distro. It's a Long-Term Support (LTS) release - the first since 8.04 two years ago - and it wraps social network with media capabilities and a brace of online services in a brand new look. As an LTS edition, Lucid Lynx will be …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Wile E. Veteran

    Can I...

    Synch the calendar and address book off my BlackBerry without going through a kludge of different processes to get from Ubuntu to BlackBerry and back?

    Get "pixel perfect" translation to and from Open Office to MS Office and back so the documents from the Department of Homeland Security I have to deal with don't get their formatting screwed up in the process of my editing them?

    Deal with Adobe Forms for the same reason?

    If not, Ubuntu doesn't do me a bit of good and I'm stuck with Windows, movie editor, music store or not.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      I like the downvotes

      Indicates that the Linux groupthink is still in full effect. Someone requires something of Linux that it doesn't offer or support? They must be spreading FUD! It can't possibly be the case that Linux doesn't have or do what they want!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Logic fail

        So Belkin (for example) doesn't supply drivers for linux - shows how crap linux is.

        HP printer didn't work with Vista - shows how crap HP is.

        Please explain.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Downvoted because...

        .... complains about OpenOffice as it if is a problem with Ubuntu itself. Here, take a downvote too for being the first to hysterically mention FUD.

    2. J 3
      Gates Horns

      Could you... think?

      "Get "pixel perfect" translation to and from Open Office to MS Office and back"

      Well, if not even MS Office can do that... Ever used MS Office on Windows AND Mac? I've lost count of how many times a document someone sent (from Windows) got butchered in one or another way (mostly small, sometimes not so small) by our lab's Mac mini running MS Office. And while I don't see how that could be the OS's fault... who knows?

      See, MS Office <-> MS Office trouble. Read again.

    3. Intractable Potsherd

      @ Wile E. Veteran

      I understand your comments, but, to be fair, Ubuntu isn't the problem. It is just an operating system. Open Office is produced by another organisation entirely. I, too, wish they would make some more effort to keep the formatting from MSWord documents - yes, that is the way it should be, because there are far more MS users than OOo, so it is up to the little guy to keep up with the big one. I also wish OOo would put in a wordcounter that works the same as the one in MSWord - like it or not, that is the de facto standard when setting word counts. Editing documents created on my wife's work (i.e. MS) computer has become so difficult I've had to reload MSWord - and that is a big FAIL as far as OOo is concerned.

      Equally, I suspect your Blackberry problem is down to the software made available by Blackberry, not Ubuntu.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Missing the point

        Regardless of who is at fault or what software company makes what, if software/hardware that I am obliged to use for my job is not available on an OS (any OS) then I can't use it. It just happens that all the software and hardware I need to use works in Windows 7 but not in Linux. Believe me, I'm not blaming Linux, I love the idea of Open Source, but the fact remains that the big names out there will support Windows before Linux. It's getting better but we all know it's not there yet.

        I'd love to be able to NOT spend £150 on an OS but, unfortunately, I don't have that option.

  2. tom truong

    so far no go...

    popped it into a VM to try, could not VNC to it (keyring password bug stuck), could not install freenx... don't have a real box somewhere... don't want to dual boot...

    so much hope, so much hype... i guess i'll do more wating, it's a LTS afterall

  3. WonkoTheSane

    Default search provider

    Ubuntu switched back to Google several weeks ago.

  4. Nigel Callaghan


    Don't get me wrong, I really like Ubuntu - been using it for a year or more as my main machine, and will upgrade shortly. But why on earth make it more 'MAC OSX'-like? Okay, perhaps the Mac OS is much smoother and better than the various flavours of Windows, but die-hard fanbois are unlikely to switch from Mac even if Ubuntu came with a free bar of gold, and the less it looks like Windows the harder it is to convince the everyday Windows user to switch. If Canonical are after increasing market share this seems a bit strange!

    Shouldn't it be possible to have a simple 'OS look' choice screen on first boot? Do you want your Ubuntu to look and feel a lot like a) Mac b) Windows 95 c) Win XP d) Linux command prompt?

    1. BigRedS

      Because people *like* OSX

      General opinion is that, whatever else they get wrong, Apple get design *right* (not necessarily UI, just design).

      In general, Windows users see OSX as a step up in design, and OSX users see Windows as a step down, this has always been the case. If you're going to emulate one of those, it'd be the one held in the higher regard, which is not Windows.

      The kind of users who need it to look like Windows in order to think it's usable will not like a "Please choose which OS you want me to look like" ballot screen on first boot.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      My thoughts exactly. Like many open source projects, it seems to be trying to be something else. If you want a Mac then go out and buy one. If you want Windows then go out and buy it (or have it thrust upon you whether you want it or not).

      MS is (quite rightly) criticised for it's constant "innovation" nonsense. Yet, what are all these OS projects doing? They're not innovating at all - they are (like they have been for many many years) just playing catch-up and copying what's already out there instead of coming up with something that is genuinely new. Just because Apple come up with iTunes, does that mean all MP3 music players then have to look like iTunes? Why? Because they have no other ideas?

      If it is because Linux is trying to appeal to the unwashed masses, then I have to ask why does this matter? And if it does matter for some reason, then just how stupid do they think the target audience is to think that all the applications and even the icons and widgets have to look the same as on a Mac or Windows box for the user to understand and use it?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I was thinking the same thing- Windows is still hugely dominant in the workplace and home user sectors, right?

        So why, presumably to "make it easier to use", would you make it different to anything they'll have used before unless they're part of some IT minority (or, as my boss would say, "MinorIT")? Especially when you're more likely to tempt people away from Windows than Apple.

        The rule they follow should be a Futurama-inspired KISS KIFF- Keep It Simple, Stupid, [but] Keep It Familliar, Fool!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Different but the same?

          "So why, presumably to "make it easier to use", would you make it different to anything they'll have used before"

          How can you make it easier to use and still keep it the same?

    3. Robert McCracken


      have it look like Windows 3.11

      Mines the one with the ZX81 in the pocket.



      MacOS has this reputation for being the Gold Standard of UIs.

      Most of this reputation is hype and mythology but it is still there.

      Really, Ubuntu should concentrate more on driver support and applications.

      As far as ease goes, automation is the key. Make more things more automatic like package management and plugin updates. Ubuntu already stomps all over the Mac when it comes to being open to different formats and supporting them in a well automated fashion.

      Sure. Steal whatever good ideas you can find (and there are some). Just don't drink the cool-aid.

  5. BigRedS


    "It's a small change, but an endlessly frustrating one if you're used to the old style."

    Really? It took me well short of a day to stop expecting them on the right, and I spend my days switching between Ubuntu and Debian Gnome and WinXP.

    Frustrating, yes. Endlessly? Not according to most of the (rational) people I've spoken to. In fact, all the _really_ annoyed people I've spoken to switched it back within half an hour.

    Might also be worth noting the not-quite-complete absence of tooltips from the panel (gnome icons have no tooltips, other apps' ones often do). That's likely more irksome, particularly in the long term, than the buttons shifting to the left. Especially since you can't turn them back on again. And some of those panel icons have subtly changed in purpose.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I suppose I'll follow the same path as I usually do with major Linux desktop releases, format a disk for a test machine, install it, play with it for a week or two, realise just how many arcane command line tweaks need doing and how many magic chickens need to be waved to get it to work the way I want it to or even play nicely with my other machines then, finally, rinse and repeat when the next all singing all dancing (allegedly) Linux Distro is released.

    Can we have a 'Meh' icon please?

    1. Jad

      RE: Meh!

      I know I' m a Unix buff and general "windows hater", which gives me a head start with this sort of thing, but as long as you add medibuntu you're most of the way there.

      I used to install Linux in the real bad old days with floppy disks and you're right there were far to many magic chickens needing to be chucked at at, crossing fingers and throwing salt over your shoulder often helped too.

      However; the number of magic chickens required for an Ubuntu install is almost down to 0 ... and although I avoided it for being too "easy" or "glossy", it does install really well and there haven't been any SuSE or Redhat installs (let alone slackware) in our office for almost 3 years.

      It's worth a go, just give it a chance :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        FWIW, original AC here....

        I too have been installing Unix boxes for years, I still have SCO Xenix 386 here somewhere and I *think* I may even still have the earlier version (I *think* it was named '286' but it's been a while, the SCO unix System V I have doesn't count, it came on new fangled CDs) so I'm not scared of an install or the shell/command line to tweak things (hell,it's my favoured way, even on Windows)

        The fact that there are still any magic chickens needed to just install ubuntu (and that's on your hardware, mine will be completely different and therefore require completely different chickens and perhaps a goat) makes it unready for the mainstream because the average Joe user needs to be able to chuck a disk in and let it run. He shouldn't have to drop to a shell and type half the alphabet to get a dependancy to install or run properly. Leave the command line/shell stuff for the intricate difficult bits that require finesse and fine grained control, not the relatively simple task of getting something like a network card to work.

        Something the Linux zealots *all* miss is that computing is no longer the preserve of the geek, everyone has a computer now, everyone wants to be able to browse the 'net, plug in peripherals, share files etc. etc.. If it works wihtout intervention then fine but when Linux fails to work straight away, it becomes very unpleasant and difficult very quickly for end users. To be user friendly, it has to be possible for the majority of users to use and configure.

        FWIW, I do use Ubuntu desktop as well as Windows 7 and I run a couple of Ubuntu servers (one's a squid proxy and the other is a test machine) but it's just not there yet for the desktop.

        I can take a Windows disk and chuck it at almost any machine that has enough disk space, RAM and processor and it installs to the point where it can connect to the 'net and automatically download drivers or, more often, with no further intervention at all, leaving a working desktop.

        I will try 10.04, I hope to be pleasantly surprised because I know the evil of Gates and would dearly love to drop him completely. I just can't, not until all my users, friends, family, aquaintances etc. all do too and for that to happen, Linux desktop needs to be *much* better.

        FWIW, I hate all Mac, Windows and Linux zealots equally.

        1. Mark 65

          Just to pick you up on that

          "The fact that there are still any magic chickens needed to just install ubuntu (and that's on your hardware, mine will be completely different and therefore require completely different chickens and perhaps a goat) makes it unready for the mainstream because the average Joe user needs to be able to chuck a disk in and let it run."

          I use all of Windows 7, OSX and Ubuntu so I'm not overly biased here but I will say that by your reckoning Windows 7 would also not be ready for primetime.

          I have tried with several machines and there's no way you can just pop in a disk and let it run. There's always plenty of unrecognised hardware items with drivers needing to be downloaded - normally from the vendor but only if they're making the driver for Windows 7 for that component (the bastards). However Ubuntu has generally been more successful out of the box although I will say that I had a bit of CLI action with 10.04 for my wireless driver whereas 9.10 was correct from the off.

          The only system that would get near 100% in this criteria would be OSX because they already know what hardware it's running on.

          I agree it's a prick when you need to fix up things like this but, given your average user doesn't normally do OS installations (just look at how many manufacturers include restore partitions), I don't think I could say that it's not ready for the desktop. I'd actually say it's more suitable for the average simpler-needs (web, email, photos) user.

          1. Gangsta

            Can I be the first to say...

            WTF with the magic chickens?

            Anyway, I'm running the 10.04 LTS, I find it fast and stable. The only problem I had was configuring my WiFi card, "BROADCOM". I had to compile the driver and install it manually via the bash prompt.

            While not a problem for me (read the readme) the average computer user, would not know where to start. Obviously an easier way, would to be to connect to the internet by ethernet, then download the pre-compiled version from CANONICAL's server. But both methods would still not be considered obvious for the average user to do. How would they know a precompiled version is available? Alot of the average computer users I know, won't even bother to copy commands from the readme, they'd just call their technical "friend".

            What we need to see is, distros shipping with a larger range of drivers. Also hardware manufacturers need to start to produce drivers for Linux. Luckily for me most of my hardware had open source drivers and the ones that didn't had restricted drivers.

            1. A J Stiles
              Gates Horns

              The crux of the matter

              "What we need to see is, distros shipping with a larger range of drivers. Also hardware manufacturers need to start to produce drivers for Linux."

              The problem is twofold. Firstly, only Open Source drivers can be included in the Linux kernel. A lot of manufacturers like to conceal information about their wireless cards; releasing an Open Source driver would break that secrecy..

              Secondly, Microsoft offer incentives to hardware manufacturers *not* to supply Linux drivers or even admit that their products are usable at all with Linux.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Why bother then, you muppet?!

      So if you know it's going to be an utterly pointless exercise, why do you bother time and time again? Oh yes, the same reason the average typical Windows user gets screwed for upgrade costs every 2 years, you're some kind of brainwashed, Windows masochist!

      Clear off back to the Gates-Balmer Merry-Go-Round Circus ride!

      Me, I am very happy with the new 10.04, seems nice and stable and all the stuff I am running is working great. I use it day-in, day-out as a work desktop to maintain dozens of critical Unix servers and while I use OSX at home and I can see this new theme has similarities, I can't really see that closer match.

      1. Rebajas


        Thanks for the comment - hope you take more care with your critical Unix servers than you do reading peoples posts!

        He didn't even mention Windows, nor going back to another OS after any amount of time, just that every time he installs a new version of Linux there is alot of configuration to get the machine how he likes it.

        Sounds fair enough to me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Day in day out?

        Odd that, 10.04 release was only available this week...

        I call bullshit on the linux mactard fanboi.

        Paris, somewhat less dim.

    3. Nexox Enigma

      Desktop Distros == meh

      """I suppose I'll follow the same path as I usually do with major Linux desktop releases, format a disk for a test machine, install it, play with it for a week or two,"""

      I usually get to that point, then go back to Slackware, because all of those "Arcane command line tweaks" are really just situation normal for me, and I'd take them by the truck load just to avoid just one wizard.

      I can see how some people might like the GUI configuration panels and wizards, but damned if most of them (In just about every OS) block me out of the functionality I want (Frequently a 'yes, yes, gimme the defaults with one click, not a steady stream of "Next" buttons' option.) All that simplified GUI 'user friendly' nonsense frustrates me in a hurry, whereas a nicely commented text file is so friendly (searchable, copyable, diffable, remote-editable, the list goes on.)

      Last time I installed Fedora, I had to do quite a dance with it to avoid both a massively bloated install, and LVM. The options were either A) Minimal install with automatic partitioning or B) Massive install with custom partitioning (And that gui partition editor was a pain.)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    buggy buggy buggy

    I don't know about the desktop/server editions and won't even touch them with a bargepole as the netbook edition experience has been a horror story. The installation procedure crapped out almost as soon as it started with some obscure message about being unable to mount something on a cow or words to that effect. Digging around in various forums found a workaround and also showed that this problem was around at the time of the previous (9.10) release - so much for Canonical's support. Anyway, got it installed and then while trying to simply add a small game, my entire wireless network gets taken down by yet another known problem that's been around for ages. To get past this involved a convoluted procedure of downloading driver sources and running scripts and editing configuration files - exactly the sort of thing that a new user shouldn't have to face. This was for an Acer Aspire One - not exactly the most obscure netbook, so it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their long term support when major problems remain unresolved for over 6 months.

    Sorry, but there is still a very long distance to cover to make the experience as pleasant as Windows Millennium never mind "Mactastic".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Had a similar nightmare trying to get a version of Linux on an ASUS eePC 901 after trying two versions and having OpenOffice screw up several powerpoints I gave up and installed Windows 7/Office 2007 and it went in like a dream (apart from needing to run the graphics driver in compatibility mode), cold boot ~35 seconds.

      Shame, I had such hopes, do you know how much Win7/Off2007 cost? (I don't)

    2. Chika
      Thumb Up


      Actually, I can agree on this one. Whilst I did make a comment elsewhere about how easy Linux (in general) is to install these days, Ubuntu isn't alone on having something of a blind spot when it comes to netbooks such as the Aspire One, and many of the bits I had to do to get my own Aspire One to run openSUSE11.1 are things which one might expect to be easily coded into the installation yet, when 11.2 came around, I still had to edit my fstab, force my install not to partition a swap area to keep the SSD usage low, add a couple of extra files, install a driver for the webcam, yadda-yadda-yadda.

  8. Paddy

    Authors lame flaim-bait

    An informative article is spoilt with this:

    "Those that consider GUIs bloat and think a good user experience involves green monospaced fonts on a pure black terminal window will not be pleased with the new Ubuntu. Unfortunately, from the looks of things, you are Ubuntu's past. The real world of everyday, dare I say ordinary, computer users are Ubuntu's future."

    You do know that people can use console interfaces as well as GUI's.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      It's a shame

      that you can't read (or spell).

  9. mrmond

    new movie editor ?

    Nothing new about pitvie, it's been around a long time. And just like windows movie maker,while it does the job there's far more capable editors available from the add programs menu.

    As to rhythmbox syncing music automatically. If it's only 2gb available I'd much prefer to back it up to my external hadr disk than trust a flaky server on the cloud.

    Overall looking forward to trying out the upgrade

  10. Tempest 3K

    Netbook Remix 10.04

    I'd been playing with the 9.10 version on a Mini 9, so decided to upgrade last night. This is definately a major improvement and it runs about 5 times faster than XP did on the same machine.

    What worries me is the RDP client works faster on this than the one on my XP desktop.....if it wasn't for the fact I have a lot of games and broadcast software needing Windows I would finally consider moving all my machines.

    Pint, because it's Friday and the guys that worked on this definately deserve one :)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    But it's not Windows!

    As an occasional and casual user of various flavours of linux over the years, including Ubuntu, I have gone through lots of frustrations yet each year it does actually get better and easier to use, especially for novices like my wife and kids who prefer to spend more time on Ubuntu on our dual boot home PC than on XP!

    They say that ubuntu is more intuitive and user friendly and also more stable. The only reason that we have a dual boot, and the only reason that my business laptop has not yet converted to ubuntu is that I simply must have all of Office 2003 including Visio and Project and Outlook and they simply do not work well enough under wine or crossover yet. Plus I don't have the time to fart around to try and optimise and trouble shoot.

    If Ubuntu could offer out of the box an easy windows apps installation procedure to seemlessly run under wine without having to faff around, including direct access to printers and scanners etc, then they would win me over immediately and I am sure thousands or perhpas millions of others.

    I do not like Windows 7, it is trying to be all things to all people and as a result is a mess that also has an awkward GUI with big icons for pre-school kids as well as more serious problems with some security suites, drivers, etc. I even considered reverting to XP but then I thought I don't want to lose a weekend installing it all again.

    No, I want my fresh 20 minute ubuntu installation but not until it is seemless to install windows apps via Wine to the extent that I don't even know I am in wine or have to configure it. Then it will be bye bye Windows 7 and all my security and and driver and UAC and activesync headaches.

    And please, don't anyone tell me that Openoffice and Evolution are an adequate enough replacement to Office, at least not for my specific needs.

  12. colin79666

    What Yahoo?

    The author states that Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search in Firefox.

    No it hasn't

    Been using Ubuntu 10.04 RC for a few days and its worked flawlessly with a few exceptions:

    1. Had to manually drop in the Flash plugin as software center only has the 32 bit version

    2. Had to edit out a line in the Grub file which caused the Plymouth splash screen to corrupt with the Nvidia drivers.

    3. Had to add a script to stop the wifi light flashing with network activity

    None of which were real show stoppers and 2 and 3 were only minor annoyances.

    To make Ubuntu properly user friendly will require some moral/legal changes so it supports DVD playback etc out of the box. Trying to find the restricted package and running a script from the terminal is probably past those completely new to linux.

  13. James Foreman

    Mac like?

    Well, I suppose the desktop wallpaper is purple by default...

    It doesn't look that Mac-like - look at Gwibber for a start - all the buttons look cartoonish. Banshee is much the same. It certainly doesn't feel like they've provided a nice, clean look and feel to all the applications (and I'm running a vanilla install of UNR 10.04, so it's not like I'm complaining that I've downloaded a whole bunch of other stuff that doesn't look the same).

    On the positive side, it doesn't seem to die when I turn my netbook's webcam on (unlike 9.10) and the boot screens look a lot less cartoony than 9.04 did. Feels a bit snappier than 9.10 too; launching applications always felt slow on 9.10, even though they ran fine once they were up.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ubuntu One

    Not every good. Use Dropbox Instead:

    (2GB for free, but multiplatform, including iPhone and Android, and upto 10GB free with referrals)

    Other than that, a big improvement over Ubuntu 9.10, which was a bit steaming turd, and broken many things than worked in 9.04

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But but...

      Dropbox's url is already shorter...

  15. iamapizza

    Looks interesting

    Looks like a re-theme and a lot of bug fixes over 9.04/9.10, then, for stability purposes?

  16. iamapizza

    also also

    I heard there were some social networking features - do those features cover Flickr? Or is it just the usual twitter and facebook trite?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here's the list

      Flickr, Twitter, StatusNet, Quaiku, Facebook, Friendfeed, Digg and according to the list of options on the install in front of me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Broadcast" accounts are: Flickr, twitter, Statusnet, Qaiku, Facebook, Friendfeed, Digg and

  17. cyborg

    Fail on install on my eee

    Having issues getting the live installer to work. Looks nice enough on the live version but won't be progressing any other upgrades to my other machines until I can try it out properly on my netbook.

  18. Daniel 44


    No more brown! They should have come up with that colour scheme, what, 6 releases ago?

    I'll wait awhile before checking it out, see if anything serious crops up, the last couple releases were a nasty mess of unfinished, untested code with some gaping flaws right off the top, so here's hoping they got this one right.

    1. Code Monkey

      No more brown

      I agree. No more brown may be the killer app for a lot of users (Ubuntards?).

      And yes I know you can change it.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


      I know that this is a trivial change, but the default background for Lucid reminds me of the early days of colour television when the tube would become magnetized leading to unpleasant blotches of colour.

      It's different, I admit, but not pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

  19. Spiracle


    I notice that the BBC used the Ambiance theme on the leader's debate set last night.

  20. dirk_diggler
    Thumb Up

    Good Review

    But as someone who's been running this for months through the dev process, I'm quite surprised you didn't make more about the social networking integration, it truly sets it apart from other OS's. OS X and Windows 7 haven't cottoned on to how people really use their computers these days, Canonical have.

  21. That Awful Puppy

    Good, now all they need is apps

    Yes, I'm talking about an office suite that isn't quite as terrible as OpenOffice, an image editing app that isn't quite as useless as the GIMP, and some sense of what's important.

    Oh, and yesterday, I saw a truly sad sight. A severely overweight freetard with a GPL 3 T-shirt. I bet that particular piece of apparel has all the pulling power of a snail.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Hmmm, so you have nothing constructive to add to the debate on an alternative O/S so you decided to make trite and fatuous comments about someone's T-shirt! GPL affects every O/S, from Lord Job's sacred alter through Ballmer's Baby to the Red Devil, they ALL use some GPL in there somewhere! GPL is not just for Linux, sure a large portion of Linux code is under GPL, but personal attacks on some sad geeks dress-sense? Pretty low even for a Win-tard!

    2. hmv
      Thumb Down

      It's an Operating System !!

      Perhaps you should ask Microsoft why Office isn't available under Linux - after all it is under OSX which has more or less the same market share. As a relative new user of MS Office, I can tell you that I think it's somewhat overrated.

      Perhaps you should ask Adobe why CS4 isn't available under Linux. And GIMP isn't quite as bad as you make it out to be - I'm a fairly serious amateur photographer and will often take images into GIMP for some serious tweaking after processing with Bibble Pro (I can actually spend money on applications!) and I don't find it useless at all.

      There are plenty of Linux applications out there. Just because they don't have the same names as Windows applications and don't work quite the same way doesn't make them bad.

  22. Neil Hoskins


    usb-creator doesn't work correctly. I had to go googling to find a workaround. So sadly, 10.04 is still not suitable for the masses.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Never used it

      Unetbootin FTW!

  23. Dave Gregory

    Cannot download release notes

    Please check your internet connection.


    Has Canonical been slashdotted?

  24. petur
    Thumb Up


    +10 for mentioning to run Rockbox on your iPod :)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You do know how to turn a boy... "Slick", "userfriendly", "App-Store-like", "polished" - all the wrong words. I guess those of us who have to get work done with it are stuck with older versions. Oh well. Nothing new there. Maybe Fedora won't f*ck up quite so badly as Ubuntu has now. Time for a new distro, methinks... Or maybe it's back to Windows, I hear 7 is quite good and malleable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Tried it

      Didn't see the point. After killing all the bling and making it useable, it's basically 9.10. No upgrade on this here machine. Crossgrade is still being considered, as well as wingrade.

  26. Peter Mylward
    Thumb Up

    Liking Muchly

    I am using and I am liking Lucid, this is the first distro where I do not need to boot into windows, full stop. Now that IT is generally migrating net and cloudwards in general, as long as the interface is nice and supports standards, it matters little what OS you use, take your pick on what you like.

    With Lucid being this good out of the box, the little niggles which meant I had to boot up into Windows to do little jobs are no more, I can access read and write fully to my NTFS partition, Ubuntu even shares my windows media folders over uPnP for my mobile devices without too much of a fuss, would like to see Windows to the same with my ext3 / xfs folders, not likely.

    Its fast to boot, looks pretty and does what I want it to, I can see my personal windows upgrade cycle coming to a stop here. And all for free, thank you Canonical for the inspiration and the countless numbers of developers throwing thier weight behind it.

    Top Job.

  27. johnnytruant


    Worked fine on my Acer Aspire One D250 last night. It's a good idea to reformat your usb stick first, that (for some reason) often leads to failed boots. That's not an Ubuntu thing either, happens with loads of distros.

    I wish they'd ship the Broadcom wireless drivers on the ISO though. Yes, they're not strictly Free, but if I cared about Proper Free, I'd be running Debian. I care about Just Working. OK, I just need to plug in a wire and download them with a few clicks, but really? Plug in a wire? I had to get up and take a few steps across the room, dammit.

    As far as magic chickens go, I've given at least four non-techies a USB stick with (previous version of) netbook edition on and said "stick that in your new computer and follow the instructions, ask me if you need help" and not had a single request for help. From my point of view, Ubuntu needs considerably less support from me than Windows ever did. I occasionally get asked for recommendations for stuff to install, but that's about it.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the new theme is horrible...

    ...maybe even worse than the old one. (imho of course)

    First thing I did was install the Equinox theme: which blows anything Canonical has ever made out of the water, into some different water, and then out of that water as well. Equinox currently lacks it's own set of icons but they're coming soon (apparently).

    I also tweaked the fonts, in the Appearance settings, using DejaVu Sans (iirc), decreasing the point size for the desktop icons to 8, and changing the LCD anti-aliasing type effect Ubuntu uses by default (which just makes text look blurry and crap imo) to the "high contrast" setting. Now Ubuntu looks sharp and, dare I see it, beautiful.

    I also found a trick to apply all those settings to the log in screen as well (you can't do it from the GUI anymore, something about xsplash?) So that hideous purple monstrosity is gone. I found a really nice wallpaper on deviantart to replace it with - but that's just personal preference.

    I wish Canonical would hire someone to design them a decent theme, rather than leaving it up to us to change everything. Oh well, it was only 10 minutes work.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. John Sanders

    Still too many odd bugs

    I wish Canonical would spend more time polishing and less time on the "Constant Innovation Nonsense Syndrome" (CONS) that plagues IT nowadays.

    My laptop could boot with 9.10 and it does not with 10.04, honestly I do not even fancy to investigate, I will wait a month and try again. Generally they iron out lots of stuff the first month.

    I do not want to just make a rant, I think this release is solid and a good improvement; some things like the VNC client show a lot of promise.

    10.04 shows that a Linux desktop is indeed viable, if enough care is used to make it, and this is also a testament of what the Open Source community can achieve.

    I wish Wine was in better shape (although I run a lot of Win32 tools on it though) with at least Office 2003 operating as it should, I could kiss windows goodbye once and for all, and as someone pointed out, a working blackberry sync would be just ice on the cake.

  31. Colin Barfoot


    Upgraded from the brown one on a Fujitsu Siemens laptop. Only took *three hours* - 30 mins of network time.

    Seems much like the last except the doodles.

    Still changes screen modes too often on boot.

    Still installs cups & print drivers at every opportunity.

    Still doesn't suspend / hibernate - how old is this bug?

    Still doesn't support all the Fn keys.

    Still doesn't allow me to enable wireless, requiring instead a manual build of acerhk - how old is that bug?

    Still can't fully remove evolution / baobab with its WTF-is-that-supposed-to-show UI / pointless gnome-dictionary without removing everything else.

    Other than that, it's ok.

    @That Awful Puppy: re. GIMP priorities, you mean the Python command line isn't important?

  32. Ari 1
    Thumb Up

    Installed the final release yesterday

    Installed the final release yesterday, I've been using Beta2 since it came out.

    Two niggles, I have a problem with my TVtuner card which I haven't bothered to figure out, and Skype doesn't work properly with my webcam unless I start it by preloading v4llcompat, which is unnecessarily confusing. Also, skype's menus don't support the new colour scheme.

    Hopefully, skype will be fixed soon, and I will work out the TVtuner crap.

    In other respects I have been pleased with 10.04 (from beta2 onward). Doesn't beat my Mac for ease of use (or stability) but beats XP like a british MP in a BDSM dungeon.

    The ease of install of these latest Ubuntu releases is quite amazing, and is a huge change from the bad old days of Linux where you had no idea whether basic components like mouse, keyboard and video adapter would work without hours or days of tinkering (an old Debian springs to mind).

    Real effort has been put in here and the Ubuntu team deserves praise

    1. Greg Eden


      To fix Skype menu colours got to Skype options and change it to "System Colors" - just run the mouse up and down the grey boxes to read what they say. Once changed and restarted it all looks peachy and fits in with the desktop.

      Skype and the webcams worked out of the box on my two notebooks.

  33. ColonelClaw

    Still strictly for geeks

    I do like Linux myself, but until they get rid of those ridiculously named folders (bin, etc, usr or whatever) and give us simple stuff like "Documents", "Program Files" or "Applications" or even "My Stuff" then no-one in the entire world other than geeks will use it as an everyday operating system.

    If I were to replace the WindowsXP on my mum's laptop with Ubuntu she would be absolutely lost, and that is the fundamental problem.

    1. Martin

      Have you actuallly LOOKED at Ubuntu since about 8.04?

      You have to look very hard to find /usr and /bin.

      If you were to replace WinXP on your mum's laptop, help her configure the mail client and any "social" logins she needs, and show her where the Firefox icon was, she'd be fine. She might even prefer it.

      1. ColonelClaw

        Here's why it's strictly for geeks

        Yeah I have looked at Ubuntu recently, about 4 weeks ago I stuck it on VMWare Fusion and gave it a spin for a few days. It came with an old version of Firefox, so I went to the "About this..." menu option to grab the automatic update. Er, no sign of an automatic update. Ok, so I ran the built in system-wide software update. It found loads of updates, but no new Firefox. Ok, still not a problem, I'll go to their web site and download the latest version and update it myself.

        Holy shit, what a mission. After downloading and extracting an archive to my desktop it took me about an hour of messing around with a command line to get both it and Flash installed. This is mind-bogglingly archaic. Where is the double-click application installer? I get one with all Windows and Mac downloads. This is just sheer torture. My 65 year old mother would NEVER figure this one out. All I wanted was a recent version of Firefox!

        As I said, still strictly for geeks only (and I'm not using geek as a dirty word, cos I am a bit of one myself)

        1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

          Obvious FUD

          <typical Linux fanboy>

          This is obvious FUD. You must enjoy circling Ballmer's $haft with your lips. As everyone knows, Ubuntu has everything you could possibly need out of the box, therefore you must be lying! Go troll somewhere else, Trolly McTrollerton!


        2. JEDIDIAH


          > Holy shit, what a mission. After downloading and extracting an archive to my desktop

          > it took me about an hour of messing around with a command line to get both it and

          > Flash installed. This is mind-bogglingly archaic.

          Yes it is mind-bogglingly archaic. That's why Ubuntu doesn't do it that way.

          That sort of nonsense is for WinDOS Lemmings.

          If you insist on going out of your way to do things the hard way, even the Mac won't stop you from that sort of nonsense.

        3. Pawel 1

          Re: Here's why it's strictly for geeks

          >Holy shit, what a mission. After downloading and extracting an archive to my desktop it took me about an hour of messing around with a command line to get both it and Flash installed.

          Really? When I want the newest Firefox on Ubuntu, I just click on Software Sources in the Control Center type in the relevant ppa (or rather copy & paste it cause I can't be bothered to remember it) and then check for updates. All in less than 60 seconds. The fact that it's done slightly different (and if you used google, you'd know how instantly) doesn't mean it's worse in any way.

          Your 65 year old mother would probably just google it, get a short instruction in the first link and followed it. Unlike you, she's probably not as limited by what she knows about windows, and is probably willing to accept that she doesn't know everything and look for instructions.

          As for compiling Firefox from sources (which is what I presume you've done?), you can do that on windows too. And I'm pretty sure it'll take more than an hour, with all the installing of compilers etc.

    2. Pete 2 Silver badge

      I know what you need

      .. you need the geordie Operating System. Based on Windaz2000:

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      re. strictly for geeks...FAIL FAIL FAIL with a side order of FAIL

      If there is one thing that UNIX like OS's are *MUCH* better than MS, it is the consistent directory naming system.

      Remember that Linux, like UNIX, is a multi-user OS, so all of *YOUR* files should be kept under *YOUR* home directory, not scattered across the *SHARED* part of the filespace. This is what makes it possible to have UNIX like systems share their userspace across a networked filesystem, compared with the absolute CRAP of roving profiles in networked Windows systems.

      If you look under your home directory on Lucid (or mos of the earlier Ubuntu's), you will find a directory called Desktop, one called Documents, one called Music, one called Pictures, one called Videos and one called Downloads. They are all yours, and will never be interfered with by another user logging on using a different name. If you want more, just create them in your home directory with whatever names you like (I have a local bin and a local lib and a local tmp just for me, but then I am a dyed in the wool UNIX user).

      This is one of the fundamental strengths, for as a non-privileged user, you only have write access to the files under your home directory, and a restricted number of temporary directories. So if (and when - even on Linux) you get exposed to some malicious code, only your files are at risk, not the system as a whole!

    4. Peter Mylward

      Odd folder names - out of sight out of mind

      If you don't want to get into the bones of the system, you don't even have to bloody look at the bin, etc, mnt folders of this world. You will have a nice simple home directory, with plain English names off all your users in it, and in each one of those will be Music, Documents, Videos etc etc.

      You don't need to know where things are installed particularly because unlike windows most of the time, Linux knows how to add and remove programs without leaving behind a trail of detritus and bloat.

  34. David Lawrence

    are we there yet?

    Have we finally got a Linux variant where it is no longer necessary to open a terminal session and....

    1. type sudo apt get -fhduhreu &&&99t834890 -uyrteger grep ¦¦ more jhfgdjkhgjkfd-786578964

    jkojklgfjgkl-7895475897*&*&(&%^&%^&--3 wibbly wobbly woo googoogoo (or similar)

    2. type similar gibberish to re-compile your colonel (or general or air vice-marshall)

    3. wear a funny hat

    4. do a silly dance

    5. re-boot twice

    6. shut down & re-start the gui via control keys

    ..... just to download and install an app or (god forbid) gain access to the new hard drive you just put into your PC?

    If the answer is still NO then for that reason I'm out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kiddies out in force today!

      Last time I recompiled a Linux kernel was around 1998!

      As you are obviously 11 years old and have a semi-serious interest in IT career, you might want to learn that word "kernel", they are used in almost ALL operating systems, even Gate's!

      I needed to install Nvidia drivers, Perl modules and some other utils and apps, took me about a dozen mouse clicks, probably less than that on Windows installs ( next, next, next, next, next.... ):

      1. Start package manager

      ( Type in my password to verify I am allowed to. "security" is a dirty word on Windows! )

      2. Select the apps/utils I wanted from the list

      3. Click APPLY

      ( Wait for downloads and installs to finish)

      Use my apps! No command lines here kiddo!

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Erm... what?

      First, I haven't had to do anything more complex than a few clicks to get a new app installed or recognise and format a new drive for the last eight years or so. There's very little that actually requires a complete reboot in nearly all Linux distros, unlike Windows... in fact I'd say, apart from the nonsense CLI stuff and the kernel recompile (and who ever needs to do that these days?), your post described windows more accurately than any Linux distro I've ever used. And how is restarting the gui worse than restarting the entire OS? Down and up in a couple of seconds vs waiting long enough to make a cup of coffee which, I suppose, would be a pain if you actually *wanted* that coffee.

      What I'm trying to say is, you're full of it. :)

      1. cmaurand

        It will recognize your drives

        No matter what file system is on them. It will resize partitions and do all kinds of different formats without ever touching the command line. Just remember, though, using the command line is like driving a car with a stick shift. It gives you more control.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Troll alert! David Lawrence

      I hope that this was deliberate flamebait!

      The only reason I've had to do something like this in the last 5 years on Dapper or Hardy is when I have tried to get some hardware working when the vendor has not done anything to make it work under Linux themselves.

      Remember, when you install a new piece of hardware on Windows, you have this nice shiny round thing with the hardware (it's called a driver CD), that the vendor has put a lot of work into to make it work in Windows. If they bothered to do the same for Linux, you would never have to touch the kernel. Try getting an HP printer working in Windows without the install diskette. It's nearly impossible if it is a printer Windows does not already know about.

      For joe average, who wants to write documents, or browse the web, or even plug a printer in (unless it's a Lexmark - spit), everything they need is likely to already be in the distribution, or at least in the repository.

      And claiming that you have to reboot twice is rich if you are coming from a Windows environment. Just installing a system from Windows media and the driver loads for XP will require you to boot your machine many, many times more for even Windows 7 than a recent Linux (just built a Windows 7 system over Christmas myself. Easier than XP by far - nearly as easy as the Lucid install I did on my workhorse laptop this morning!)

      Go on, give it a try. Build a Windows and a Ubuntu system from scratch, and report back to the thread if you dare.

    4. Steven Raith

      In a word, yes.

      I installed Alpha 3 [yes, alpha] beside my Win7 RC install a month or so ago, manually set up the partitions, and forgot to see if there was an option to tell it to dual boot, and thought I had buggered it.

      Nope, it saw the Win boot partition and compensated for it - I can dual boot without even having bothered to consciously set it up. Brilliant.

      And I haven't had to use a terminal session for everyday stuff for about two years now.

      Instead of attempting - and failing quite, quite badly - to be witty, why don't you try it, it's rather good - at least as good as the jump from Vista to Win7 in terms of "ah, that's a nice touch" moments.

      It's been rock solid since A3 for me, and I'm going to download the finished ISO and throw it in my netbook later tonight with a beer [always the best way to install an OS IME]. Once I have remembered to back up /home/steven

      Oh, and on a related note - to the mong crowing about /dev, /usr etc - you do realise that all your documents and app settings are installed in /home/$yourname - and all subsequent folders have friendly names, like Documents and Pictures. Another person who should really try a modern distro rather than just spouting the usual feckless, drivel of abject knuckledragging fuckwitttery.

      I wouldn't describe myself particularly as a Linux zealot - I use Windows and OS X without a problem when I need to - but drivel is drivel, regardless of what you are spouting it about, and deserves exactly the same level of mocking derision where ever it is found.

      Steven R

      Fail to the intellectual rejects, but a Thumbs Up for Lucid - best every day distro so far IMHO.

    5. johnnytruant

      you haven't been keeping up

      Ubuntu has been Mum-friendly for ages now. My Mum, even, runs it. She's in her sixties and doesn't even know what a command line is, let alone how to use one. It's such a non-issue, I do wish supposedly IT-literate people would stop banging on about it.

      I put Ubuntu on my friend's computers and then I stop getting bothered by the kind of "how do I x", and "why won't it Y" questions I used to get all the time when they were running windows. I run crunchbang, 'cos I'm hardcore and I like configuring things using text files, but you don't have to do that kind of thing any more if you don't want to.

      Why not download a LiveCD and give it a try? You don't have to install anything. (and even if you do, the Ubuntu installer is considerably easier and more friendly than the Windows ones)

      1. karolbe
        Thumb Up

        the same here

        My parents have been using Ubuntu since almost a year. They LOVE it, they have rather slow PC which was slowed down even more by anti virus software etc. Now they can browse the web, view pictures from camera, print, play games and more for free.

        They have never asked for help with Ubuntu which is also a sign that Linux IS ready for desktop.

    6. cmaurand


      Yes. go to administration and install software. Lot's to choose from. You can still open the console if you want to. It boots to a GUI in less than 10 seconds.

    7. Chika


      Yeah, I'll hold my hand up and say that I do occasionally get my hands dirty installing the more exotic apps that I might want to run. But then I'm not an Umbongo user.

      But, in their defence, I can say that it has been many years now since I've worked on any version of Linux where you absolutely, positively had to do stuff like that. In many ways, a lot of the more popular flavours of Linux, whether this, or my own Linux of choice, openSUSE, or Fedora or any other major player have stuck a lot of effort into making sure that the only way that you will actually need to "open a terminal session and type sudo anything_at_all" is when you want to, rather than when they want you to. The same goes for restarting, though a kernel update still needs it (but tell me a system where it doesn't!)

      As for silly hat, funny dances and the like, that's very much your own business, but send a pic into the Reg when you do so we can all have a laugh!

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Try ksplice

        It can patch and "restart" your kernel without needing to reboot. Very handy.

  35. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Sounds very superficial

    All the talk is about the colour scheme, themes, where buttons are.

    *********** WHERE'S THE BEEF? *******************

    Where are the _new_ applications? What can I do with this version that I couldn't do with (any of) the previous ones? Why should I go to the trouble of upgrading my workhorse 8.04 to this?

    Linux always falls into the trap of promoting its features and forgets that normal people don;t care - they (we?) want benefits. Reasons why this version lets them do things better / faster / cheaper than they could before.

    Until the Linux community realises that people don't care what the O/S is, they only care about what they can do with it, they are doomed to push a product that has no reason to exist.

  36. blackworx
    Gates Horns

    Letters but no digits

    Tried it this morning. Nice painless install. If I was a "normal" person and just used my computer for MyFaceMailBookBitch I'd surely be impressed with the new social network features, but being a socially-avoidant type these hold no allure. Other than that nothing special and a few instant niggles that suggest I would get annoyed pretty quickly. e.g. On my dual-monitor setup it puts the wallpaper for the second monitor, at that monitor's lower resolution, over the top left of my main monitor, giving a weird pseudo-tiled effect. And I've no sound. Doesn't seem to like my S/PDIF with external DAC implementation no matter what hardware output I select. in fact it makes my fancy studio DAC attempt to lock on to a signal every time a sound is made, which leads me to think the output is being deactivated when there's no sound output. Overall first impression: meh.

    Having said all that, it does a lot better on the hardware front than a clean install of Windows ever did.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No love for nvidia

    The live cd keeps crashing with "nouveau detected gpu lockup". Definitely not stable on my run-of-the-mill 8800 GTS. Is a shame really, as 8.04 has worked for me for the last two years. I suppose I could use the alternate text installer, blacklist nouveau, download and install the nvidia proprietary module, then poke X until it works... but spare a thought for the not-so-technically-minded folk eh? That sort of faffing to get linux working belongs in the 90's, not in a flagship Ubuntu release.

    1. Greg Eden

      Utter bullshit

      Of course you would not think to install a vesa driver to get it going an then activate proper Nvidia drivers

      1. Anonymous Coward

        LTS should be stable

        Nope, I'd hope that that the default kernel drivers used in a long-term-support Ubuntu release would be sufficiently stable to not lock up a common and fairly modern graphics chipset when doing nothing more taxing than moving the mouse pointer around when running their live cd.

    2. Greg Eden

      Previous post a bit harsh

      Not every piece of hardware is going to work out of the box, but most will. Installing XP from scratch is a long and tedious process, harder still without a shoe box full of old driver disks. A clean Windows 7 install is better than XP, but 7 will just not work with a lot of older hardware.

      Ubuntu installs are, MOST OF THE TIME, quick and painless, but with tens of millions of users and a billion combinations of hardware there is always going to a few problem devices. Any OS install will require fiddling with drivers and installing applications, but Ubuntu is generally easier than the other Linux distros or Windows 7, and a thousand years ahead of XP. People who criticize are generally also the ones who have never installed Windows from scratch.

      This forum is not the place for technical answers, for that there are the Ubuntu forums. So the only conclusion is that all of these whining posts about device "X" not working are deliberate fud.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Sorry, Greg,

        ... I have done many fresh installs of WinXP, and also Linux flavours. I prefer the XP route every time - it is predictable, which Linux doesn't seem to be. If I need to know something like "install the vesa driver then ....", it is not good enough. And Linux forums - they are the place where people like me go to face truly whithering scorn from people like you, right? Ask a simple question and get ... well, I suppose it can be called help in the same way as an enema for constipation can be - useful, but not pleasant. In fact, I think that is my problem with Linux - too many people with a "I can do it, so why can't you?" attitude, and a general level of contempt for anyone that doesn't know the command line codes for 640 different operations. That is people like you, Greg ...

        1. Greg Eden

          Ubuntu forums

          Intractable Potsherd, nice name - did your mother hate you? I have always found the Ubutnu forums very friendly. Other more hardcore distros like Debian can be unwelcoming, but Ubuntu? I think you have never actually been there and asked a question.

        2. Captain Thyratron

          Support forums

          There's a trick to places like the Ubuntu Forums.

          Tell them that their operating system is terrible on account of the failure of interest, and they'll rush to defend it, possibly by spouting off about the solution you seek in order to discredit you. Otherwise they're likely to ignore you.

          1. Greg Eden

            Support forums

            There's a trick to the Ubuntu Forums.

            Be polite and they will be polite back.

        3. Martin

          XP install vs Linux?

          "I have done many fresh installs of WinXP, and also Linux.....I prefer XP"

          Well, I prefer Linux.

          One major reason why is that a clean install of XP takes about ninety minutes on my old Dell boxes (including having to install a whole set of special drivers). A clean install of Ubuntu takes about fifteen, and just works.

  38. Steve Sutton

    Apple as a goal?!?!?!

    What the hell is he talking about? ubuntu would "beat Apple's OS X on features and interface polish" if you replaced the GUI with a fullscreen bash shell!

    I sincerely hope that ripping off MacOS isn't the goal, as that would be 73 steps backwards. Doing so was the reason ex windows fanb0is* like myself hate the GUI in Vista / 7.

    * - something of an exageration, but the GUI was always the nicest, but otherwise I always thought linux as a whole was superior.

    In anycase, if the people who control ubuntu are making brain-dead decisions like moving window control buttons from their proper place now, then lord knows what else their infinite-wisdom may impart on us in the future.

    Maybe it's time to dump ubuntu, before the pain comes.

    1. J 3

      Agreed, but...

      I agree emulating Apple's look and feel would be horrible. I am one of those people who can't learn how to like OSX, no matter how many times I use it...

      That said, at least in Linux you have a choice. Changing the theme is two or three clicks on the desktop, and it will look any old way you want. Try that on OSX...

      Better still, there are at least 3 or 4 other distros which are bound to look the way one likes to begin with.

  39. The Original Ash
    Thumb Up

    Just updated from 9.10

    I'm happy so far.

    As for the new theme and icon location, the theme I had before returned after update without any prompting, and a quick 30 second google search revealed the appropriate fix for the button locations in the title bar (hint: gconf-editor )

    I may reply if I find anything irritating.

  40. petur

    @David Lawrence

    Yes we are (and have been for a while). Most applications are very easy to install (pick from the list or download and double-click the .deb file), and last time I added a disk I didn't need commandline either....

    If your rant would have been about installing drivers and updates breaking compatibility (thus leaving you with only commandline), I wouldn't have bothered to reply to your post ;)

  41. Dave H 2

    Not for me...

    It's been a while since I tried linux, so I thought I'd give this release a chance.

    1st problem - the bootmanager doesn't like my wireless keyboard, which is pretty much a deal breaker, unless there's a solution?

    2nd problem - I encountered a bug almost immediately. The restart option worked once, but after the reboot, "Restart" and "Shutdown", no-longer worked, both options just logged me out. I ended up having to power-off.

    Finally, I remain (from previous linux experiences) unimpressed by how quickly I run into "You do not have the rights to access that" type messages. It's my home computer - I don't need or want to be wading through nerdy Fort Knox crap like that!

    Oh, and I'm not a fanboy - I use windows grudgingly and have so far stuck with XP.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Can't comment on first two points.. is tighter on Linux, because it is, well, secure. Much more secure (not perfect though). The problem with it being your home computer is that if its connected to the net using windows, its perhaps also some pesky hackers home computer as well, unless you have enough security. Linux provides more than Windows. Hence your 'issue' with permissions.

      If you want to throw away your security, go ahead. I am sure those hackers will be more than happy to have your credit card numbers.

      FYI, the only time I ever need to type in my root password is when installing apps or updating the system. I rarely if ever come across a permissions issue otherwise.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      USB wireless keyboard

      Plug in a normal keyboard, drop into the BIOS during startup, and turn on Legacy USB support. Then reboot to see whether Grub understands the keyboard.

      Grub is a minimal OS where size is a real issue. It relies on the BIOS settings being right!

      On the subject of Fort Knox. Just because it is your machine does not make it a good idea to have global write on the whole filesystem as a non-privileged user. That way lies being pwned by the first haxor who makes it through your browser with a malicious Javascript or Flash applet (and it will happen, even though you are using Firefox on Linux). I understand your sentiment, I just don't think you understand system security. Please attend the Security 101 class.

      1. Dave H 2


        Thanks, I'll admit to being a bit dumb over the wireless keyboard - it's my first wireless or USB keyboard ever, and I've only had it a couple of months, so I'd never looked for that setting before. I figured out the problem a couple of minutes after posting, though, and I accept the same thing would cause problems in any OS, so it's no valid criticism of grub or Ubuntu.

        On the subject of security... I currently run just MS Security Essentials, but I've gone months without virus checkers, in the past. I only bolster security if other members of my household are likely to use my machine, otherwise, I dislike the hassle. Since I don't google for pr0n and stick mostly to sites I've been using for years, I tend to consider myself pretty safe, without having to show my credentials everytime I want to change something on my own PC.

        1. Mark 65

          Wireless keyboard

          I know this isn't going to help you any but I would also steer well clear of these. I have a (quite lovely to use) Dell bluetooth multimedia keyboard and the bastard thing is always dropping out be it on Windows (XP, not tried any later editions but it was using Dell's driver) or on Ubuntu (9.04 if I recall). They are just such a pain in the arse that I've long sinced returned to wired keyboards.

        2. Pawel 1


          Just my 3 cents: Visiting just the websites you know doesn't make you safe - there were numerous (many successful) attempts to inject malicious code into well-known websites.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fort Knox...

      It's called security, and I'd rather work in Fort Knox and have to use a key to get at sensitive stuff than have the keys to the kingdom on a peg outside of the fortifications.

    4. Chika

      Oh well

      That's your choice. I must admit that I'm not a great fan of wireless keyboards on any OS, even Windows. I've had one too many cock up for one reason or another.

      Your Restart/Shutdown problem, however, sounds a little more serious and I'd be considering checking to see if there is any bug report relating to that if I were in the same position.

      Your comment about permissions, however, is not really valid. Consider that even Microsoft aren't very keen on the idea of you running out of habit in an account where you could inflict violence on the operating system, hence the changes in the more recent versions and various attempts to do similar changes on XP over the years, often thwarted by lazy programmers who insist that their software can only run with (at least) local admin privs. One thing that is certainly better in my own experience with Linux is that in many cases, you will at least be asked what you want to do about it rather than issued with a blanket refusal, something that is only hitting Windows more recently.

      For that reason, it is perfectly feasible to run in a non-privileged account, as I am right now, and elevate my privilege should I need it, hardly ever having to directly log into my administration account at all. I can do the same with Windows 7 but, in XP, that is only possible if the person behind the app has taken the time to allow for this.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Desktop changes not extensive enough

    I approve of Ubuntu's desire to produce a workable version of Linux for the desktop, but I'm afraid this isn't remotely comparable to the style and functionality of Mac OS X. Why still TWO menu bars? And why are they still using a horrible Windows-style Taskbar even though Windows itself has dropped that now in favour of a copy of the Mac Dock? These desktop changes aren't remotely extensive enough to make this worthwhile. Sorry.

    1. Stephen Bungay

      Doc compliments Taskbar

      In my experience with Windows users migrating to a Mac, the Dock confuses them. The Windows user will click on the item in the doc, launching yet another instance of the application (no they don't see the little separator at one end of the dock that delineates running apps from apps to be run.. it confuses them).

      The other thing that messes them up is the application menu not being attached to the application window. 100% of the time when I arrive at a Mac that belongs to an ex-windows user there are 5 or 6 instances of safari (all looking at the same web page), and the user is floundering around in the UI.

      Personally I like the idea of the Dock for launching frequently used applications, but having the task bar to keep track of applications that are running, separate from the dock, is also a good idea. The user can separate the purpose of each in their mind and it gives them a location to look for in the context of what it is they want to do...i.e. look at the task bar for programs that ARE running (but might be minimized), look at the dock for programs that I want to run or perhaps run another instance of.


      Apple is Hype, not Style.

      > Why still TWO menu bars?

      Sorry, but a little dot under the icon just doesn't cut it. Also, the dock uses up far too much screen real estate for what it does. OTOH, having 2 bars on the screen allows for much more interesting options. Oddly enough, the taskbar doo-dads available for Linux are much more useful. When it comes to "polish", that part of MacOS fails badly. It's sad looking really.

      ...and it's really 3 menu bars if you want to be precise since each app has it's own on Linux.

      Having the in-focus app basically take ownership of the screen (or some part) of it really is so 80s.

      Unix has had some form of "dock" since Apples were running on 68k. So the idea that we would be following Apple around like some sort of lost puppy really is a misguided notion.

      Taking another look at it, the menu bar on a Mac really is a crude waste of space. Too small to be really useful and cluttered with stuff that really shouldn't even be there so what space it does take up is wasted even more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        OS X dock nonsense and the pleasure causing a disturbance

        As a user of almost every permutation of UNIX over the last 25 years plus emulators such as Primix (even pre-GUI/mouse, when one had a single VDU interface and probably just one of those per twenty or more users), various Linux versions, pre-98 to Windows XP (yet to suffer Vista or Windows 7) and a happy user of Mac OS X, it seems to me that most of you have got no idea of how to configure your systems for personal preferences or what you are seeing in front of you.

        On OS X the dock takes up as much or almost as little screen space as you care to configure it to do (and that is childishly easy). The number of icons thereon is completely configurable - drag the lot to the Trash (horrible name, like Ubuntu's English version, last time I used it, much more) if you must. Have it on the left or right side instead of below, auto-hide as with the Windows task bar. For most applications, clicking on an icon of an all ready open application does NOT open another instance, though one can of course by other means. Windows and most LInux interfaces however do open up fresh copies.

        Just like other systems, a general purpose default is presented to the new user, who tends to be a mail/browser/chat (if advanced) type who may watch DVDs or load his ipod/mp3 player). Clever clogs like us can then muck it about to our heart's discontent and the majority can just use it to do a job or amuse themselves.

        Do you want a black terminal emulator with green Courier font? I like that too - use it for all sorts of command line things (shell scripts, vi sessions, man pages, awk, programming, make, reorganising my files, RCS ...) using OS X terminal application, or even (as I like to do in my dinosaur way) run a full X server and twm(1) with exactly the same .twmrc, .xinit etc. as at work on Solaris, AIX and others (such a dinosaur that even mwm, let alone kde and gnome are too hand-holding for me).

        No, if you were serious about UNIX and free distributions, you would be using Free BSD, mailx, mh or similar and avoiding BASH like the plague (its array implementation is ghastly and ksh, even pdksh, knocks the rest into a cocked hat). Almost makes tcsh look good. If prepared to spend money (less, too, than you think), OS X is not bad at all, rather good in fact.

        I am a UNIX bigot; so I like OS X because it is a reasonable presentation of BSD UNIX (downloaded GNU applications, Eclipse, Wine and installed them without problems just as on any other UNIX or Linux release and mac ports is a not bad version of the BSD ports utility). Yet, at the same time, I can go into the full GUI interface and work in a very complete developer environment covering the major languages, source code control ... all included in the basic release, without endless downloads and clicks. Oh, and security is good at the latest UNIX level and even to the extent, if you must, of encrypting your $HOME. And, what is more, usable back-up and restoration is so easy, I even use it.

        Oh dear, sounding like an Apple salesman. But really, I am just a professional software engineer, UNIX specialist, who has enough problems at work without playing silly-b*gg*s with incomplete software and dodgy hardware at home. By the way, while at work ugly kit is fine, at home I pretend to be refined and have taste and I like my furnishings, stereo, computers etc. to look good. I save the boxes and wires for a workshop.

        I gave up fighting Linux installations and upgrades when I was no longer being paid for it and a new distribution of Ubuntu failed to boot completely on my ancient TP21 (shame, good machine, now running just XP, perfectly well, at least till I try free BSD again).

        For those who must, like me, work with windows part of the time: cygwin is excellent with a good X server for the full X experience, absolutely b-y marvellous.

        Oh dear, this was meant to be a couple of lines about the dock. Got carried away or should be.

        1. Captain Thyratron

          They're backing the wrong horse.

          Pity that, to most people who use the term, "free software" means "GNU/Linux and its immediate ecosystem". Linux might not exist if BSD hadn't been slowed down by legal entanglements (lawyers ruin everything); GNU may have remained no more than a set of userland tools (I mean, unless someone actually got HURD to do something useful--hah!), and the world would likely have been better off for it.

        2. JEDIDIAH


          > On OS X the dock takes up as much or almost as little screen space as you care to

          > configure it to do (and that is childishly easy). The number of

          Except the MacOS dock takes up the entire side of the screen it's on. Plus, the "space" part of my rant was about the system menu bar and not the dock.

          Whether or not a Linux icon opens a "fresh copy" of something is entirely dependent on the app. OTOH, if I want more than one "window" from the same application on different windows, the Unix approach will at least allow for that.

          I still use Linux because something like unloading video from my Sony camera won't give it kittens. There isn't an expectation to funnel all video through quicktime and I am not terribly impressed by Apple apps including iPhoto and iTunes. Even iMovie manages to break basic UI design principles (but I was told Macs don't do that).

          If I need to install something, it will sort itself out. There will be no dangling dependencies or dependent bits of crippleware. Basic tools won't be crippleware ether.

          If my Unix requirements were stuck back in 1988, I might be more impressed by Macs.

          There's a mini collecting dust under the desk. So this isn't just a purely theoretical thing.

      2. Doug Glass

        What Were They Thinking ... or Were They Thinking?

        Exactly, add all the icons you want to one and delete the other. My dearly departed dad used to wear a belt and suspenders. Why? He was a safety engineer long before that became "in vogue". So maybe there are safety oriented old folks in the Ubuntu panel programming basement.

        And another thing, why the frakk is a mail (actually mail, chat, and etc.) tied to the speaker volume? What brain surgeon thought up that connection? You can add a mail icon to a bar, but if you delete the stock one the speaker goes with it.

        And there's no speaker volume icon to be added for the normal source. Yeah i know, just use the embedded mail icon and select email. Works, but the tie to the speaker is still stupid as hell.

        And Ubuntu One is a total bust. Absolutely a pitiful attempt at off-site storage.

        And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint. Holy sheet! That's damn near twice the size of my bare bones Windows 7 Home Premium on the alternate drive. And here I am thinking the Lunix (huh? Lunix?) boys were all about less bloat and greater efficiencies. Guess not huh. Just can't resist can you boys?

        But strangely enough I sort of like it. Well ... it is free to me. But then Help sucks.

        1. Escape Velocity

          @ Doug Glass

          "And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint."

          From the sound of it, you used the "WUBI" windows ubuntu installer. This differs quite a bit from a normal Ubuntu install as actually it uses the Windows file system to store a root disk image. The 17 Gigabyte file represents how much total space from the filesystem you have allocated to Ubuntu, not the size of the OS install. (Tip: while in Ubuntu, check your free space and correlate)

        2. JEDIDIAH

          Try to at least make you nonsense believable.

          > And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the

          > suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint. Holy sheet!

          Nonsense. At least try to make the FUD somewhat believable.

          What you describe takes up about 2.6G.

          Even a more interesting install lots of extra odds and ends installed is only going to weigh in at ~6G.

  43. Tim Cook

    Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

    The problem for Ubuntu is it's aimed squarely at an audience that doesn't really exist. It's makers, like most fans of Linux, seem to assume that Windows users, and most Mac OS X users, just need their hand holding with a familiar look and feel before they fall gratefully into the arms (wings?) of the penguin. Ubuntu has the patronising air of an outfit that's trying *help* these people who are obviously much stupider than themselves. Beginning with the assumption that Linux is best, all these other people need is to be tricked into using it, right?

    The thing is, outside of that particular nerdbubble, nobody cares. And I mean nobody. People use Windows, people use Mac, whichever works for them - but the idea that anyone's queuing up for a third OS choice that has none of the real advantages of either is just fantasy. A minority pursuit that's been rumbling on pointlessly since the mid-nineties, and still nobody cares.

    1. James Hughes 1


      I care, for one.

      I use Windows and Linux. Both work for me.

      Advantages of Linux over, for example, Windows - More secure, faster, (much) cheaper, faster bug fixes,

      Off course both OSX and Windows have advantages over Linux as well, but to say Linux has no advantage over either is plainly wrong.

      I do find it surprising that so many people seem to want Windows to stay dominant, considering how many people seem to also want it to be toppled from its pedestal. Linux + GUI is the only mass market competitor to Windows, so why not support it instead of dissing it.

      Put another way, if Windows has no competition, what incentive do MS have to make it any better? If it does nothing else, Linux keeps these monopolies on their toes.

      1. Doug Glass


        Incentive? To sell more to a throw-away addicted user base? To enhance the bottom line? To increase stockholder equity? To grow the company?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Tim Cook

      "Beginning with the assumption that Linux is best, all these other people need is to be tricked into using it, right?"

      Sounds about right to me, Tim.

    3. Stephen Bungay


      The greatest barrier to acceptance of Linux in general is it's appearance, and you can test this for yourselves by setting up a Linux PC with gnome and applying the Windows XP theme to it so that it looks and feels EXACTLY like XP. In my experience all resistance melts away when this is done and acceptance is almost immediate. The die-hard XP user will take to Linux like a duck takes to water.

      Bottom line, people dislike change, the comfortable Xp Look disarms them and they become more able to rise to other little challenges (like their new canon printer not working because canon doesn't have a driver for Linux).

      When Ubuntu moved the window gadgets from the upper right to the upper left they made one of those little cuts that they claim they want to eliminate (death by 1000 cuts). This small change would so annoy the average windows user (who has no idea how to change it back, has no inclination to learn how, and simply wants things the way they were) that they would dump the newer (and perhaps better) distro in favor of the old.

      1. ray hartman

        Appearence doesn't explain 1% Linux desktop use

        Gawdshelpyou da lusr ........ should you get 1/2 step away from Ubuntu mainstream function. Just take that micro-mis.step and see what happens.

        Minor Linux errors are unrecoverable by Joe Lusr. He might just as well take-an-ax to his kit as make a single_character_typo.

        This happens in Linux to Joe Lusr once ... twice ... 3_times ... and whammo he's back to M$ for the next 4 years. Ubuntu Luxy-Lynx-10.04 is no better than RedHat_6 in this issue and it explains howcome modern excellent Ubuntu grabs less.than 1% of the desktop market.

        Yes *BTW* both my kits are UBUNTU only.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          The Majority

          Truth is this: the majority of computer users use whatever OS is on their computer when they bought it. For those that bother to upgrade, they fork over whatever the local service store asks and gets what they're offered. The alternative is they pay a friend to pirate everything that goes on their system.

          Mac users are obviously different, but very similar. They buy their nice hardware, pretty software and upgrade to the latest and greatest. As long as it looks like a Mac and acts like a Mac, they're happy.

          Now, if there were more Linux users, there would be more Linux users -- and having a pretty Ubuntu on a USB stick helps show off some of the free functionality anyone can get without having to pirate a thing. Dell sees it. IBM saw it long ago. Several other hardware companies see it. Google sees it (although differently). Slick sells, or why does Windows 7 want to be Mac so bad?

      2. Doug Glass

        Appearance ...

        ... only gets you in the door. Unless it operates as expected, acceptance never happens. Make it look exactly like Windows, but the first DVD movie that wont play and/or the first time wireless won't connect and exit doors get clogged with people leaving.

        Never underestimate the ability of the ordinary computer user to shun better new technology in favor of better running (read that as "more familiar") old technology. If that weren't true, Linux would be beating the pants off Windows. You can build a better mouse trap, but you have to make people want it. Microsoft is very good at doing that. The Linux community is dismal at it and getting left far behind.

        Want more people to use Linux? Then learn to play the marketing game. Right now, the only games in town are Windows and Apple. You see, there are no Linux stores and the percentage of Linux installations on demo computers at Best Buy, for example, is well, non existent.

        Disagree? Great! Get out there and make the demand happen.

        And you can forget about the "free" aspect. If free was relevant, glass engagement rings would have replaced diamonds long ago.

    4. preppy

      Re: Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

      Well....ALMOST nobody. I care, and there are a few others out there too. But you're right - outside of the Linux Server community, there isn't much traction for Linux on the desktop. Pity really, because it's pretty good for most of the basic things that I do every day.

    5. Chika

      That sounds like a generalisation to me

      And all generalisations, including this one, have exceptions.

      Actually, I'd be interested to hear where you get your figures from because, if what you say is correct, then Linux - ANY Linux - would have ceased to exist many years ago. The fact that this distro is gaining in popularity flies in the face of your argument, and that is before we even consider that this review has only centred on Ubuntu and its favoured GUI, GNOME, without a mention of what might be available otherwise (yes, I'm more of a KDE fan, though I'm still not convinced that KDE4 is quite ready yet).

      But then I'm an old stalwart of Usenet. I'm used to seeing this sort of unsubstantiated post. But by all means, please bring out your figures and prove me wrong!

      1. Chemist

        Re : Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

        Everyone seems to suggest that the market for a desktop Linux is very small but I look at it this way : -

        Because Windows is already installed on almost every retail machine and business machine the 'free' section of the market is probably ~~10%. Of this Macs occupy about half at ~5% total market, but the various forms of Linux are about 10% of the market where people CHOOSE their OS.

        I'd guess from the various contributors on the Reg. and the polls that that 10% of the free market is a pretty knowledgeable group.

        Certainly the download figures for the distros are a poor guide. I've downloaded 32-bit OpenSUSE 11.2 and installed on 3 machines and 64-bit OpenSUSE 11.2 and installed on 4.

        It also always needs reinforcing that a modern distro does NOT need the use of CLI for installation and routine use. Nothing NEEDS to be compiled.

        I also can't believe people on a technical website whine on about the DEFAULT colours & themes.

  44. Dave H 2

    Really, not for me.

    Well, I solved the grub wireless issue (bios setting, d'oh), but got irritated trying to reconfigure grub to boot windows first (more "you don't have permission"). Delete partition, fixmbr. Life's just too short.

  45. ArmanX

    Yeah, but have you seen the alternative?

    I used Windows 7 the other day, and I have to tell you, it's complete and utter crap. I plugged in my USB wifi adapter, and after half an hour and four reboots later, I finally got it set up, but even then it wanted some obscure hex code thing to log in to my router. The printer was worse; I had to hunt all over the internet to find an updated driver just to use it, and the scanner is pretty much a bust. There weren't even any forums to help me out, that I could find.

    It looks like it suspends really well - permanently, even. It doesn't come back without a reboot. It's probably the same old USB bug that XP had.

    Then there's the update manager - sure, you can get updates to Outlook and Office, but what about all my other programs? If Ubuntu could do it, why not Windows?

    Oh, but the worst by far is the image editor. I mean, come ON people! What is this, 1990? All you can give me is Windows Paint? They had 10 years to upgrade it, and all they do is add the ability to *fingerpaint*? Even Ubuntu has Krita, or TuxPaint for the kids...

    This is a pretty disappointing release. I was expecting something better, since they've had 10 years to work on it, but no such luck - and I'm stuck with this for the next 10 years, probably. It's not like they have Ubuntu's 6 month release schedule...

    1. Dave H 2


      I remember the first time I saw Windows Paint - I couldn't stop sneering. I'd come from Amiga's, where we'd had Deluxe Paint, then later Personal Paint & Photogenics bundled. It just seemed such a bloody joke in comparison. I remove it immediately, so I wasn't aware they even had updated it in the last 10 years! PSP9 is as good as it gets on Windows, IMHO. That's without moving to higher brow apps like Painter or Photoshop, of course.

      I'm not surprised about W7. Once you cut through the fanboy claims of faster boot times (thoughtlessly compared to several year old XP systems) and better than Vista (not saying much), it never seemed like an OS I'd want to upgrade to.

    2. Doug Glass


      You just don't understand Windows is all. Find a Windows guru and s/he will make it all better for you.

      Worked with me for Ubuntu ... it'll work for you in reverse.

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      I use Win7...

      and have had absolutely zero problems. YMMV of course but your router requiring a hex passcode is a product of the router, not Win7 (Windows gives you the option when entering passcodes if you want to enter as text (and convert to Hex on the fly) or start with Hex. Likewise a printer which requires a driver you have to hunt everywhere for is almost certainly (a) very old, (b) very obscure or (c) both - in any case I can't imagine you having any more luck with Linux. Ditto for the scanner; Windows 7 has generally excellent driver support for most mainstream peripherals.

      Updates manager - ok, with you on that.

      Image editor? Have you actually tried Win7 Paint? For a *bundled* app, it's pretty good and certainly lightyears ahead of previous versions of Paint on Windows. They've added a lot more than the ability to fingerpaint - are you sure you're even looking at the same app? Besides, don't like it then download a new one; there are only about a million free Paint apps out there for Windows.

  46. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Until people stop referring to every distro as "Linux"...

    ... It won't get anywhere.

    Nobody refers to OS X as "BSD". Users shouldn't have to *care* that Ubuntu is built on Linux. This is the *only* way Linux will succeed: as a foundation technology for others to build on.

    As long as you try to claim that every Linux distro is somehow the same thing, you'll keep running into major support headaches which will put developers off.

    The openness of Linux is also its Achilles' heel: it has resulted in a heavily fragmented market. It's been *19 years* since the first Linux kernel was released, yet there's *still* no genuinely "universal" Linux app installer. Developers have to package and support umpteen variations and builds to cover all the main bases, and that's before you start going into the myriad smaller distros and forks.

    The solution is to stop seeing Linux as the end, and start treating it as what it is: a *means* to an end.

    Ubuntu, Android and MeeGo—silly names aside—are Linux's future. Don't fight it. *Embrace* it.

    (Before anyone starts calling me names: I run both a BSD-flavoured UNIX OS*, and Windows 7.)

    Oh, and if you're going to point and laugh about Windows XP, I hope you won't mind if we all point and laugh at Ubuntu 6.10 too. Fair's fair.

    *(Yes, the heavily modified distro bundled with certain fruit-logoed hardware. Some very important parts of the GNU / Linux codebase have BSD code, or owe their existence to it, so be *very* careful before you start hurling any sticks and stones.)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu 10.04

    Thanks for the update on Ubuntu. I downloaded the beta live CD and gave 10.04 a spin this week. Apart from the slight rejigging of the window buttons, and the (un)usual Ubuntu screen colours, I pretty much failed to see any difference between Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 12 which I use all the time. OK...this may just be because of the way I use Fedora, but I really saw very little to shout about in 10.04.

  48. RobHJ

    My Vote....

    Ubuntu has always been one of the few Linux distros that supported by Dell D420 straight off.

    I've just updated to Lynx and apart from the improved look and feel (IMHO) it's also sorted out my one "problem" peripheral, an Orange E1752 mobile broadband dongle, which now works (with no magic chickens in sight!).

    Is it going to replace my Mac or Windows boxes - well no but that's not the point.

    Lynx runs well on an old(ish) laptop and is all I need when out and about, so it gets my vote.

  49. Anonymous Coward


    I use the only version of Ubuntu that works properly and looks nice. It is called Linux Mint. Can we have a green penguim icon?

  50. FARfetched
    Thumb Up

    Ease of use is good

    As a Mac person, I'm glad to see a Linux distro take UI issues seriously. Having said that, it doesn't *have* to be Mac-like, or even Windows-like, to be easy to use. At home, I run Xubuntu on a G4 Mac mini as a guest machine, and even my son's dim girlfriend can do what she wants with it without my help. She found the little Firefox icon up in the menu bar, and was quickly off to her MySpace page. I like not having to constantly tinker with it; I'm comfortable enough in a shell but I prefer getting stuff done to futzing around in /etc.

    Canonical may have found a good way to monetize (ick what a word) their free OS with the music store and premium version of Ubuntu One — the latter is a bit pricey, as dotMac/MobileMe is pricey, but I'm sure plenty of people will decide 50GB online is worth the price.

    Personally, I hope Lucid takes off. Apple has had the ease-of-use + stability combination pretty much to themselves all along, and maybe this will push them to step up their game. After wasting two evenings of my life de-infesting my sis-in-law's dozebox, I may stuff Ubuntu on her computer as a dual-boot option and see what happens. It might let me waste my time the way *I* want to waste it, anyway.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth
      Paris Hilton

      Ease of use == Unix shell

      El Reg just informed us, that whereas in the computer world we distinguish among super-users (BOFH), users (programmers), end-users (typists), and abusers (don't call them hackers), Apples don't get used, but consumed.

  51. shade82000
    Thumb Down

    Back to 9.10 for me

    I was waiting patiently for this release, but I was a little disappointed to be honest. I can see the potential good, but it needs to be more consistent with hardware support.

    I remember my wireless didn't ever work in Ubuntu prior to 9.10, so I never used it because, well what good is a computer these days with no network connectivity?

    My built in wifi still doesnt work in 9.10 but it does see my Belkin USB adapter so for the last 6 months I have been using Ubuntu more than Windows 7 because its just nicer to use.

    Yesterday, I installed 10.04 and it would not see my Logitech bluetooth adapter or any of my wifi adapters, so I had no keyboard, mouse or network.

    For now I am going back to 9.10.

    1. tardigrade

      You'll laugh at this then.

      I've done a dual install of Win7 Ultimate and ubuntu 10.4 today on my new computer. No hardware issues at all with ubuntu, but can I get a network connection on Win7? Can I ****!

      I'm not talking wireless. I'm taking about the 10/100 Ethernet on the motherboard. Windows asks me to install the driver for it, by downloading off the Internet, a bit tricky when I can't connect to the Internet for the same reason.

      If I had never used either system before today I would have to say that based upon today's experience ubuntu 10.4 is the more user friendly system and that includes the installation procedure as well.

      Knowing what we all know about where ubuntu and Linux distros in general have come from over the years, (I'm thinking RedHat 6.0) how surprising is it to be able to say that?!

      Posted using Lucid Lynx because Win7 doesn't know how to connect to the Internet. Arf.

      1. Chemist

        Re : You'll laugh at this then

        May be a bit obvious but why not download the driver using Ubuntu ?

        1. tardigrade

          Re: Re : You'll laugh at this then

          Yep, that's what I've done. Didn't half tickle me though.

        2. Nerd King

          f*cking title

          Yep, that's what i usually do in the circumstances and yes it happens often. Windows is a dog for hardware support.

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            Too true.

            The first thing I always do when doing a Win install is catalogue the hardware on the machine in question. I then make sure that I have the latest versions from the various HW manufacturers of all the drivers necessary to get the thing to a usable (i.e. connected) state on a USB stick. It's the only way to be sure.

            The flipside of this is that most Win users will never install it as it comes on their PeeCee, whereas for those going to a Linux distro the install is likely to be their first (and often last) experience of same. Thus Ubuntu, or whoever, have to be better than Windows in this area to break even.

            Life isn't fair. Who knew?

    2. Bruno Girin

      Hardware support

      The problem with hardware support is that if the developers don't have the same hardware as you, they can't test it. So sometimes, you will have some specific hardware that doesn't work, or that doesn't work anymore, because nobody has been able to test it. Windows doesn't have this problem because the hardware is tested by the manufacturer. So I suggest you report the bug (using Karmic) and someone will look at it. If you're not sure what to put in the bug report, you can always ask in the forums.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OI dont diss my command line

    When a GUI can get all the documents with the name WIBBLE in them and ending in .TXT and send those to a printer in one wave of the mouse - THEN I'll drop the comand line. Alas it can't so I love my command line. GUI's are like eating a steak with a egg whisk and a meat cleaver - doable but not as effecient as they could be.

    1. James Hughes 1


      I can use the Unix command line (just), but got to disagree about efficiency.

      Of course, if you know the command you need to do some task, then the command line may be faster. If you DONT (i.e. havent spent 5 years learning the multitude of command and mechanisms), then its quicker to use a GUI.

      Don't forget that efficiency comes from how long it took you to learn how to do something, not just the act of doing it.

  53. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Kubuntu 10.04 - anyone?

    What annoys me about Ubuntu is the total focus on Gnome, generating a second best cousin called Kubuntu which never quite reaches a finished state - you keep having the feeling that KDE was something Canonical would really like to go away.

    Has anyone tried it so far? I've had a quick go using virtual box but that hung on reboot, where Ubuntu just worked, including the Virtual Box support files.

    My aim is to get a Linux base platform and then vbox Windows XP for the Microsoft bits I still haven't managed to get rid of (ironically, that includes an application called iTunes).

  54. henrydddd
    Thumb Up

    Just got thru installing 10.04

    I just got through installing 10.4 on 2 network computers. Ubuntu 10.04 is one giant step toward making linux a viable operating system for computers. Congrats to Ubunto and Shuttleworth.

  55. dshan
    Thumb Up

    Upgrade Works!

    10.04 is the first version of Ubuntu I've installed that could successfully upgrade my Dell laptops from the immediately prior version and remain useable when finished. Hooray! It even found my Inspiron 1545's Broadcom WiFi and successfully upgraded the driver for the first time ever. Nothing crashes so far, all apps seem operational and all data is intact.

    It took them long enough, but now Ubuntu is almost as easy to upgrade as my Macs. Better ten years late than never I suppose.

    Of course the key problem with Ubuntu remains, despite window controls on the left and much nicer default colour schemes and icons, etc., it isn't significantly *better* than the competition in any respect, it's just not much worse anymore. It used to be very Windows-like, now it's more Mac-like, but it isn't better than a Mac so why should anyone using a Mac (or Windows) switch?

    It needs a quantum advance over the other systems, some totally new and revolutionary features that make using Ubuntu more fun and more pleasant, easier and more reliable, than other computers. That's the only way to get people to switch systems. It needs something revolutionary like multi-touch, iPhone OS and the Apple app store. But simply aping that would be too late now, they'd only be chasing Apple again instead of leading. That's open source's Achille's heel - design by committee doesn't produce innovation, only emulation of what's already been tried. Like MS they're too scared to knock over the table and switch to Boggle in the middle of a Monopoly game.

    1. Pawel 1


      it starts by catching up - music store with major labels in is a good start (yes, it uses MP3 and not Vorbis, but they need to start somehow).

  56. Shingo Tamai

    Gnome/KDE have the appeal...

    ...of a transvestite.

    You can take a look at the inconsistency of the GUI since the first boot clicking on the envelope and on the IM icons on the upper right and... surprise, same options!!!

  57. Al Taylor
    Thumb Up

    Kubuntu etc

    Fred - I tried Kubuntu for the first time on Friday and was disappointed. The whole thing smacked of being unfinished even though I do like the look of the KDE front end. After a few hours I ditched it and installed Ubuntu which is a my default Linux distro (so maybe my problems where as much to do with unfamiliarity as anything else).

    I was a bit disappointed that 10,04 doesn't support the various Realtek wi--fi cards out of the box that Samsung have installed in Lord knows how many tens of thousands of netbooks (like my N140), but a quick google and I found a walk-through to install the relevant drivers. Once I had that sorted I was away. I like the look of 10.04 but don't really see the point of the various built-in social network systems - not sure that is what Linux should be about.

    My N140 now dual-boots perfectly from the GRUB menu that Ubuntu installs so I have a choice between slow-but-steady Windows 7 and fleet of foot Ubuntu. One thing I have noticed with 10.04 is that it seems able to work with a greater variety of 3G USB dongles. It's a faster boot than 9.10 too, if only by a few seconds.

  58. ray hartman

    superb Luxy Lynx 10.04

    A superb usrland outing for LL_10.04 for which most can be thankful. Runs flawlessly and intuitively on beefy modern desktop kit. I've happily run x64_LL since beta_1.

    Debiolian & Slackmolian byteboyz can gag-on-da-spoon.

  59. Hans 1


    I think change sucks, and when software companies change the environment, like when ubuntu 9.10 went dash instead of bash which broke most shell scripts out there just to gain a couple secs boot up speed (who reboots ubuntu?), ffs!

    So installed it over the weekend for the missis and yes, it is polished, by no means comparable to Mac OS X, moving the window buttons (who cares), that is where they are supposed to be, if you ask me, but I could not be bothered where they are, tbh.

    Installed right-away, supported all hardware, not like windows XP ... this is a dell (given to me), the original install disks were gone, luckily I have a dvd containing a restore partition and a legal copy of ghostpe (the real ghost 2002, not the crap Norton try to sell you now).

  60. Allan 1

    A title is required....

    do-release-upgrade from 9.10 to 10.04 went flawlessly on my laptop. Even picked up my onboard wifi, which 9.10 never did, meaning I can throw out the crappy pcmcia wifi adapter. Was quite impressed.

    do-release-upgrade from 9.10 to 10.04 on my desktop, for some obscure reason the keyboard stopped functioning during the upgrade, meaning I couldn't respond to a prompt, forcing a hard reboot, and an unbootable system. Not impressed at all now. Had to install clean from a CD.

    Spoke to a few friends, they all suffered the same issue of the keyboard stopping working during a do-release-upgrade. The common denominator is that they were all USB keyboards. I'm guessing the upgrade unloads some usb drivers. So, I recommend connecting a PS/2 keyboard before doing an upgrade. YMMV,

    Overall, I like the new look, seems to respond faster, boot faster, and more hardware supported.

  61. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    What's with Linux app names anyway?

    Gotta clear the air on this but there's something I really don't get. What IS it with the stupid, nerdy, geeky, childish names given to most Linux apps? Gwibber? I'm sorry but no matter how good the app is, whoever chose the name Gwibber is fucking retarded. And that's being polite. Same goes for the majority of Linux apps I see - The Gimp being a prime example. I mean - it might just be me but when I hear that name I get a mental image of a fat naked German trussed up in black leather with a rubber ball in his mouth.

    For me, it's these naming conventions that put me off Linux. The spirit of geeky one-upmanship compels me regularly to try one variant of Linux or another (Debian, SUSE (through my company), Ubuntu have all been and gone, plus a few of those interface-modded variants such as Mint) but when I go to download an app I want to sync my PDA and find out it's called Slackdribble or some such shite makes me want to puke, cry and panic-uninstall all at the same time.

    Linux guys, if you want to conquer the world (and let's face it who doesn't), please, PLEASE get the names sorted out and try and be a little bit professional about it. Just a bit. For me it would make the difference, and who knows, there might be a few million others out there like me.

    Let the flaming begin.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: get rid of the silly names

      We'll get right on that, erm, Lord Elpuss.

    2. Ceiling Cat

      (G)nome (K)DE , naming conventions make sense to me!

      "Same goes for the majority of Linux apps I see - The Gimp being a prime example. I mean - it might just be me but when I hear that name I get a mental image of a fat naked German trussed up in black leather with a rubber ball in his mouth."

      You sick ****!

      Personally, I don't give a **** what they call the video editor/image processing app/chat software as long as it works.

      "when I go to download an app I want to sync my PDA and find out it's called Slackdribble or some such shite makes me want to puke, cry and panic-uninstall all at the same time."

      Why? Why such a severe reaction to the name of a program? Justify your reactions!

    3. tardigrade

      Works both ways.

      "..PLEASE get the names sorted out and try and be a little bit professional about it"

      Yes you're absolutely right. Linux needs to have sensible names like. Bing, Zune, Menlo, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter etc.

      Instead of childish names like, Open Office Word Processor, Open Office Spreadsheet, Disk Usage Analyser, Remote Desktop Viewer, Movie Player, Open Movie Editor, PDF Viewer, E-Book Reader etc.

      Face - Palm.


  62. The Unexpected Bill

    It'll happen...I just don't know when...

    I want to love Linux on the Desktop. I really do. But it's just not there yet.

    With embedded devices and servers, I think Linux is great. I've got a Buffalo wireless router running DD-WRT firmware and a Linksys NSLU2, both of which are pretty good pieces of equipment. Actually, the router and third party firmware are phenomenal. The NSLU2 is tolerable--it does the job it was sold to do, but the firmware is rather buggy and it looks like Linksys is not supporting it any longer. (Yes, I've seen the 'unslung' firmware and others, but I don't think I'm willing to do that. I'm not that dissatisfied or interested in taking a risk.)

    Linux on the desktop, on the other hand...hoo boy. (Do we have time for this?)

    I well remember loading an early release of Red Hat on an IBM PS/1 486. It did work, and gave the machine a new lease on life in a lot of ways. Setting up my dial up connection proved difficult, as did practically every other task. I twiddled with it a while, lost interest and who knows where the machine ended up? I bought a book on Red Hat Linux at the same time, and it was awful. It seems that the book was seriously out of sync with reality, and that didn't help matters. Yes, the version of Red Hat covered by the book matched what I was running on my system.

    A friend of mine installed some release of Debian on an older but nice HP Vectra desktop of some sort. The installation went well and then he tried to take it graphical by setting up X Windows. He never did have much luck getting the onboard Cirrus Logic AGP graphics to operate in anything but VGA mode. I gave him a few video cards with differing chipsets and none did any better. That was where I got involved. Several hours later, we'd determined that although running xf86config produced some result, it wasn't actually writing a *valid* configuration file with the right video driver specified. By that time we had one of his Linux using friends on the phone offering hints, I was madly twinking away at the X configuration file and we finally got it working.

    More recently, I've tried running Linux on a "Sawtooth" Power Macintosh G4/450...a nice machine with an attractive case that really seemed to have been left behind by Mac OS X. Fedore Core 6, on the other hand, really ran beautifully on it. It was all going so well until I tried to set up my DeskJet 5850 printer. CUPS really didn't work at all on this machine, and it took a lot of twidding (consisting mainly of special chants, dark magic and unwise adventures into the inner workings of CUPS) before the printer worked. It only worked for a little while before the print spooler felt that it should send endless copies of a document to the poor little DeskJet. How amusing.

    Well, the machine's got a DVD-ROM drive in it, maybe I can forget about my printing woes by setting up DVD-video decoding? Have you tried this? Har har har. I know this isn't all the fault of Linux, as DVD decoding is mired in a morass of patents, but you would think that it wouldn't be all that hard to add--or if it was, that someone would have said something about where to go and what to do. If anyone did, I never found it and I finally realized that the time I spent on doing this would have been better invested in simply finding and using a physical DVD player.

    I won't talk about my adventures with Mythbuntu, that's a whole other unmitigated disaster area. But at least they're not doing so much worse than every commercial TV/DVR software package on the market. (I've tried a lot of them, and they all suck in some Extra Special way.)

    However, I remain hopeful. I recently built a system and installed Linux Mint (an Ubuntu derivative) on it. It works *great* so far. Adding software and administering the system has (mostly) been a breeze. I've got things working like I want them to. (DVD playback works, although I cheated here as the needed software is included with Mint.) I can get my work done.

    What I'm getting at here is not that Linux doesn't offer GUI handholding the whole way. I don't care about that so much. I generally know what I'm doing, am not afraid to learn and can read computer hardware datasheets and understand them. I don't mind using a command line, configuration wizard or what-have-you. What I get a little tired of are the unmitigated crash landings, the place where the floor just disappears from underneath you. I don't even mind having to study, but one tends to get discouraged after hours and hours of research and experimentation that don't bear any fruit or offer a greater understanding of the system. If you're going to engineer something (whether free or not) you ought to at least Make It Work. (The "Linux Attitude" as it were runs somewhat counter to this, in that the harder it is to do something, and the harder it is to gain an understanding of something, the more it will be appreciated when you do gain that understanding. If you don't wipe out the installation first.)

    I'll leave you with this: When someone like Eric S. Raymond has a misadventure with CUPS ("The Luxury Of Ignorance: An Open Source Horror Story") and someone such as Jamie Zawinski finally buys a Macintosh because of his Linux misadventures, what hope do those of us who are mere mortals have?

    As I said, it's getting there. I'm a big supporter of open source software and I do see the promise in Linux. It will get there. (As you can see from my tirades above, it keeps inching closer.)

    Whew! I'll get my coat.

    1. Chemist

      Re : It'll happen...I just don't know when.

      Don't want to understate your difficulties but I've installed computer after computer with OpenSUSE ......10.3 , 11.0, 11.2 without any difficulties - they just work. Very different systems from 1.2GHz Celerons with 512MB, laptops, AMD64s (single & dual), dual-core Atom fileserver and the latest an Intel dual-core - this one installed in 17 mins. from DVD.

      Several of the systems required the Windows(XP) partition crunching down to make room - no problems - the rest were new (bare) systems or existing Linux installations

      The ONLY problem I've encountered in recent YEARS was one laptop's wifi and I just plugged a PCMIA wifi card in and that sorted that.

      1. The Unexpected Bill


        That's not quite the point I was trying to make. Linux installations have been generally working very well for some time now, and even with the pitfalls, a lot of things worked just fine.

        What wasn't much fun was waiting for the hole to open up in the ground, never knowing when it would, and wondering what to do to get back out of it again. Make no mistake, other OSes have problems, but with them you can usually figure it out or find someone who has been down that road and seen the light.

        It's been said before, but I'll say it here: what I want to see is the day when I can put my mother (who is not at all computer literate) in front of a Linux machine and *know* that she can use it without falling into some irrecoverable mess. And if she should have a problem, I want to know that I can sort it out with a phone call and a few mouse clicks. That's why she has a Mac right now. (Say what you will, it's proven to be a sound choice for her needs.)

        As a matter of fact, and something I was going to mention in the first post I made: I found IBM's AIX (on an RS/6000 7012-397) to be a LOT less hostile toward the user than Linux. Then again, if a person were to drop $30K on a workstation, they'd darn well expect it to work. (I bought it as scrap for a whole lot less.)

  63. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    10.04 is smooth

    "I pretty much failed to see any difference between Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 12 which I use all the time. OK...this may just be because of the way I use Fedora, but I really saw very little to shout about in 10.04."

    Not surprising. Most of the improvements probably went into gnome in general, rather than ubuntu in particular. Distro makers will come up with improvements, submit a patch against their own distro, these patches will work their way upstream to gnome or kde guys (or whatever app they are patching), will be put into the base install then percolate their way down to all other distros.

    As for the "noone" cares crowd. This is pure bull. I work at a computer surplus, I'd say AT LEAST 1/3rd of the customers HATE the idea of buying Windows, they don't like the rights restrictions (almost everyone has been bitten right in the ass at least ones by the DRM by now), they see anything but what they've used (XP or god forbid 98..) as a huge change anyway, and are just as happy to try Ubuntu as Win7 -- well, happier, since Win7 is expensive. I've had probably 1/3rd of the customers grab a free CD, and quite a few come back and thank me for it.

    Anyway, I updated my Ubuntu boxes to 10.04. I find the moving the buttons to the left superflous but it doesn't bother me. The upgrades (from 9.10) went smoothly. My Inspiron has bcm4318 wireless that always acts up under the free broadcom driver (almost no transmit power); it still does in 10.04. I turned ndiswrapper back on for it. Similarly, my dad's laptop has a chip that wants madwifi, so after upgrade I built madwifi for it again. Both wifis DID work well enough I could use it in a pinch without "fixing" it. I had to upgrade mythtv on my gentoo boxes, since the Ubuntu version of myth was too new to work with them otherwise. Considering the amount of customization I've done on some of those boxes that's not much at all to "break" 8-).

  64. Fred Tourette

    Once Again I'll Try... install a version of Ubuntu that will like magic make magic with my Atheros wireless crap in my Toshiba laptop, and not make me spend days in the forums and config files getting it to work. Who knows? Maybe this time will be the charm.

    1. serviceWithASmile
      Thumb Up


      i hear ya. have a similar problem with my samsung n140 (my particular one has a wireless card that its not meant to have.... no idea).

      I got around it by installing ndiswrapper, which allowed me to use the xp wireless drivers for that card under ubuntu 9.04. I have upgraded this to 10.04 with no problems in regards to wireless drivers.

      Might be worth a look if you haven't tried that already.

      this aside, after this latest release i can see ubuntu really starting to compete with the big boys now. before, they laughed. now they ridicule.

      ubuntu must be doing something right :D

      after upgrading my n140 netbook, it boots in 22 seconds (5 more to login) and runs full 3d compiz desktop effects without so much as a complaint.

      n140 has some function key issues with ubuntu which haven't been resolved yet but everything else is just better. whole system runs faster


  65. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    Well worth a look.

    I stuck it on an asus 1000 (The proper one with the 40GB SSD before M$ sullied Asus and it all became HDD to pay homage to the crapware Win7.)

    It ran, it worked. No effort, no hassles and no dramas. Then I started using it and the ONLY drawback is the silly icons on the left hand side, I am told (by a ubuntu forum post) Mark has plans for the right hand side. I managed to at least put them in the right order, min, max, close. As they were also reversed. Madness.

    And flash isn't supported in firefox by default, I have to open extras repository and download a none free version. Boo hiss Mr Shuttleworth.

    1. serviceWithASmile

      you can change the min max and close buttons

      by looking under system > preferences > appearance and selecting another theme other than the default.

      changing to darkroom or human puts the buttons back where they should be.

      it annoyed me too :(

      but well done to them overall, very nice release :)

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a great first run for me

    I decided to do a clean install instead of upgrade for various reasons. Well, everything went great until the video tried... and tried... and failed to load. Sure, I could hear the famous jungle drums but the video went kaput. Some searching found that MANY video cards crash on loading Grub2.

    The initial setting whacked out my card, which is a brand new ATI 58XX series card. Apparently some Nvidia cards also crashed the video.

    This seemed to be an extended problem as I was goggleing *sic* and found this issue is so common, one can only shudder to think that some idiot would put the wrong line of code... just so it would look better. Sure, we could have used a generic driver and then force people to download the correct driver for a card made since 2009.

    This has to be embarassing to Ubuntu Conical, especially since this is supposedly the LTR for the next three years and it won't boot unless you have certain cards. Maybe they need to "Ubuntu Certify" like Windows does, eh?

    Yes, the fix is easy if you are familiar with interrupting the command line on boot. But can you imagine Grandmama trying this trick at home?

    Shame on you, Comical!

    1. Ceiling Cat

      Ooer, wot's this shiny thing?

      "Yes, the fix is easy if you are familiar with interrupting the command line on boot. But can you imagine Grandmama trying this trick at home?"

      Somehow, I can't see Granny having the tech savvy to install an OS. The day will come, mind you, when the current generation of tech-savvy folks will be old and feeble. Only when that day comes will your argument be truly valid.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like